PALO ALTO, Calif. ?- Stanford’s Chris Minaker singled home Jim Rapoport from second base with two outs in the ninth inning, as the No. 22-ranked Cardinal defeated No. 8-ranked Arizona 5-4 at Sunken Diamond on Saturday.
The loss snapped Arizona’s three-game winning streak, dropped the Wildcats to 34-17 for the year and ended any hope of an outright Pac-10 championship after Oregon State defeated USC 10-7 on Saturday. Stanford improved to 31-20 overall and to 11-9 in the Pac-10.
Stanford’s Rapoport led off the bottom of the ninth with a base hit off of freshman Eric Berger (6-1). Arizona closer Mark Melancon retired pinch hitter Ryan Seawell and Chris Lewis for the first two outs in the inning before issuing an intentional walk to Adam Sorgi and surrendering the game-winning hit to Minaker.
Tied 4-4 in the ninth, Arizona had an opportunity to take the lead when it loaded the bases with one out and Pac-10 RBI-leader Jordan Brown and team home run leader Nick Hundley due up. Stanford’s Matt Manship struck out Brown and got Hundley to foul out to end the threat and keep the game knotted.
In addition to leaving the bases loaded in the ninth, the Wildcats squandered numerous scoring opportunities throughout the game and finished with 10 runners left on base, including six in scoring position.
The ninth-inning victory made a winner out of Stanford reliever Greg Reynolds (2-2)
Arizona and Stanford will pay the rubber game of the three-game series at 1 p.m. on Sunday. UA’s Sean Rierson will take the mound for the Wildcats.
Junior Trevor Crowe broke Todd Trafton’s school single season extra base hits record with a leadoff double in the first inning. The double gave Crowe 45 EBH on the year and marked the eighth time this season he has led off a game for Arizona with a two-bagger ... Nick Hundley hit his team-leading 14th home run of the year in the second inning. It was his 18th extra base hit in 20 Pac-10 games this season ... Jordan Brown hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning (No. 12 for the year). It was his first home run since April 19 at New Mexico.